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questions for community discussion on long and early school day schedule

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  • Dr. Lapin
    Hola familias, Hi folks, I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 15, 2013
      Hola familias, Hi folks,

      <versión en español abajo>
      <hemos aquí el inglés>

      I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

      I believe that evidence shows:

      1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

      2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

      Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

      If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

      Thanks for reading!

      Blair

      _________

      <y aquí el español>

      Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

      Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

      1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

      2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

      Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

      Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

      ¡Gracias por leer!

      Blair


      ______________

      Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
      skype: dr.lapin
      415-992-2613
      319 Virginia Ave.
      San Francisco, CA 94110
    • Dr. Lapin
      Hola familias, Hi folks, I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has
      Message 2 of 8 , May 18, 2013
         

        Hola familias, Hi folks,

        <versión en español abajo>
        <hemos aquí el inglés>

        I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

        I believe that evidence shows:

        1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

        2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

        Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

        If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

        Thanks for reading!

        Blair

        _________

        <y aquí el español>

        Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

        Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

        1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

        2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

        Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

        Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

        ¡Gracias por leer!

        Blair


        ______________

        Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
        skype: dr.lapin
        415-992-2613
        319 Virginia Ave.
        San Francisco, CA 94110

      • Concha Gómez
        Hi Blair, I am aware if the research on teens circadian rhythms, and I agree with you on the effects these early and long school days have on our kids. I ve
        Message 3 of 8 , May 18, 2013
          Hi Blair,

          I am aware if the research on teens' circadian rhythms, and I agree with you on the effects these early and long school days have on our kids. I've always believed that the schedule has been for the benefit of working parents. Since most if us don't have the luxury of  work with flexible hours and adequate income, and there is no morning care for middle school students, it's probably for our convenience that school starts so early. 

          I always found the late start time of elementary school problematic. Even when I had a non-teaching job with flexible hours, if I started work at 10AM, I couldn't put in anything close to an eight hour day. This always meant extra work on other days (usually weekends).

          I agree that it's insane and not conducive to learning. On the other hand, I grew up with the same insane school schedule and I'm guessing you did too. It's been around a long time. The question might be, how do we support working parents---especially those who can't afford child care---who want the best education possible for their kids?
            
          In solidarity,

          Concha Gomez, Ph.D.

          On May 18, 2013, at 6:16 AM, Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...> wrote:

           

           

          Hola familias, Hi folks,

          <versión en español abajo>
          <hemos aquí el inglés>

          I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

          I believe that evidence shows:

          1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

          2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

          Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

          If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

          Thanks for reading!

          Blair

          _________

          <y aquí el español>

          Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

          Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

          1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

          2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

          Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

          Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

          ¡Gracias por leer!

          Blair


          ______________

          Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
          skype: dr.lapin
          415-992-2613
          319 Virginia Ave.
          San Francisco, CA 94110

        • Rosi Bustamante
          Thank you, Concha. My sentiments exactly. Rosi ... Thank you, Concha. My sentiments exactly. Rosi El may 18, 2013, a las 6:54 a.m., Concha Gómez
          Message 4 of 8 , May 18, 2013
            Thank you, Concha. My sentiments exactly.  

            Rosi

            El may 18, 2013, a las 6:54 a.m., Concha Gómez <cmgomez59@...> escribió:

             

            Hi Blair,

            I am aware if the research on teens' circadian rhythms, and I agree with you on the effects these early and long school days have on our kids. I've always believed that the schedule has been for the benefit of working parents. Since most if us don't have the luxury of  work with flexible hours and adequate income, and there is no morning care for middle school students, it's probably for our convenience that school starts so early. 

            I always found the late start time of elementary school problematic. Even when I had a non-teaching job with flexible hours, if I started work at 10AM, I couldn't put in anything close to an eight hour day. This always meant extra work on other days (usually weekends).

            I agree that it's insane and not conducive to learning. On the other hand, I grew up with the same insane school schedule and I'm guessing you did too. It's been around a long time. The question might be, how do we support working parents---especially those who can't afford child care---who want the best education possible for their kids?
              
            In solidarity,

            Concha Gomez, Ph.D.

            On May 18, 2013, at 6:16 AM, Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...> wrote:

             

             

            Hola familias, Hi folks,

            <versión en español abajo>
            <hemos aquí el inglés>

            I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

            I believe that evidence shows:

            1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

            2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

            Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

            If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

            Thanks for reading!

            Blair

            _________

            <y aquí el español>

            Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

            Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

            1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

            2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

            Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

            Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

            ¡Gracias por leer!

            Blair


            ______________

            Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
            skype: dr.lapin
            415-992-2613
            319 Virginia Ave.
            San Francisco, CA 94110

          • Dr. Lapin
            I understand about work schedules. And I agree about the larger politics of increasing wages and improving working conditions for working people. Absolutely!
            Message 5 of 8 , May 19, 2013
              I understand about work schedules. And I agree about the larger politics of increasing wages and improving working conditions for working people. Absolutely! But can't we be a little more creative and imaginative about finding a better solution for our kids to the problem of capitalist work schedules? The "best education possible for [our] kids" is not just to keep them in school longer.

              Why don't we have morning care for middle-school students? And what about the long school day? Aren't there after-school progmras? Even if the kids are going to be kept in school longer -- for the convenience of the parents -- they could have longer recess and lunch, for more unstructured play and exploration. For that matter, there could be elective classes, where kids could explore subjects they are interested in.

              What about a morning program where the kids come into school and learn about food by making wholesome nutritious breakfasts for themselves, collectively, with supervision? They get a good breakfast, they get to sleep in a little bit later (because they don't have to eat before they get to school) and the parents don't have to feed the kids before they go off to work.

              There have got to be better solutions than the one we've adopted.

              Blair

              ______________

              <dr.lapin@...>
              skype: dr.lapin

              El may 18, 2013, a las 7:33 a.m., Rosi Bustamante escribió:

               

              Thank you, Concha. My sentiments exactly.  

              Rosi

              El may 18, 2013, a las 6:54 a.m., Concha Gómez <cmgomez59@...> escribió:

               

              Hi Blair,

              I am aware if the research on teens' circadian rhythms, and I agree with you on the effects these early and long school days have on our kids. I've always believed that the schedule has been for the benefit of working parents. Since most if us don't have the luxury of  work with flexible hours and adequate income, and there is no morning care for middle school students, it's probably for our convenience that school starts so early. 

              I always found the late start time of elementary school problematic. Even when I had a non-teaching job with flexible hours, if I started work at 10AM, I couldn't put in anything close to an eight hour day. This always meant extra work on other days (usually weekends).

              I agree that it's insane and not conducive to learning. On the other hand, I grew up with the same insane school schedule and I'm guessing you did too. It's been around a long time. The question might be, how do we support working parents---especially those who can't afford child care---who want the best education possible for their kids?
                
              In solidarity,

              Concha Gomez, Ph.D.

              On May 18, 2013, at 6:16 AM, Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...> wrote:

               
               

              Hola familias, Hi folks,

              <versión en español abajo>
              <hemos aquí el inglés>

              I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

              I believe that evidence shows:

              1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

              2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

              Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

              If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

              Thanks for reading!

              Blair

              _________

              <y aquí el español>

              Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

              Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

              1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

              2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

              Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

              Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

              ¡Gracias por leer!

              Blair


              ______________

              Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
              skype: dr.lapin
              415-992-2613
              319 Virginia Ave.
              San Francisco, CA 94110





            • Lisa Wood Kirvin
              Blair, my gut reaction to your questions is Go for it! I am sure I don t know all the other aspects to consider, and pros and cons to developing such a
              Message 6 of 8 , May 19, 2013

                Blair, my gut reaction to your questions is "Go for it!" I am sure I don't know all the other aspects to consider, and pros and cons to developing such a program...
                But I think most parents would be game for having their children enjoy wholesome food they prepared before starting their school day.
                If you can make it happen, that would be fantastic - thanks!
                Lisa (PTA co-treasurer; Tommy, 4 th with Frank)

                On May 19, 2013 9:00 AM, "Dr. Lapin" <dr.lapin@...> wrote:
                 

                I understand about work schedules. And I agree about the larger politics of increasing wages and improving working conditions for working people. Absolutely! But can't we be a little more creative and imaginative about finding a better solution for our kids to the problem of capitalist work schedules? The "best education possible for [our] kids" is not just to keep them in school longer.

                Why don't we have morning care for middle-school students? And what about the long school day? Aren't there after-school progmras? Even if the kids are going to be kept in school longer -- for the convenience of the parents -- they could have longer recess and lunch, for more unstructured play and exploration. For that matter, there could be elective classes, where kids could explore subjects they are interested in.

                What about a morning program where the kids come into school and learn about food by making wholesome nutritious breakfasts for themselves, collectively, with supervision? They get a good breakfast, they get to sleep in a little bit later (because they don't have to eat before they get to school) and the parents don't have to feed the kids before they go off to work.

                There have got to be better solutions than the one we've adopted.

                Blair

                ______________

                <dr.lapin@...>
                skype: dr.lapin

                El may 18, 2013, a las 7:33 a.m., Rosi Bustamante escribió:

                 

                Thank you, Concha. My sentiments exactly.  

                Rosi

                El may 18, 2013, a las 6:54 a.m., Concha Gómez <cmgomez59@...> escribió:

                 

                Hi Blair,

                I am aware if the research on teens' circadian rhythms, and I agree with you on the effects these early and long school days have on our kids. I've always believed that the schedule has been for the benefit of working parents. Since most if us don't have the luxury of  work with flexible hours and adequate income, and there is no morning care for middle school students, it's probably for our convenience that school starts so early. 

                I always found the late start time of elementary school problematic. Even when I had a non-teaching job with flexible hours, if I started work at 10AM, I couldn't put in anything close to an eight hour day. This always meant extra work on other days (usually weekends).

                I agree that it's insane and not conducive to learning. On the other hand, I grew up with the same insane school schedule and I'm guessing you did too. It's been around a long time. The question might be, how do we support working parents---especially those who can't afford child care---who want the best education possible for their kids?
                  
                In solidarity,

                Concha Gomez, Ph.D.

                On May 18, 2013, at 6:16 AM, Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...> wrote:

                 
                 

                Hola familias, Hi folks,

                <versión en español abajo>
                <hemos aquí el inglés>

                I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

                I believe that evidence shows:

                1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

                2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

                Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

                If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

                Thanks for reading!

                Blair

                _________

                <y aquí el español>

                Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

                Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

                1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

                2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

                Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

                Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

                ¡Gracias por leer!

                Blair


                ______________

                Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
                skype: dr.lapin
                415-992-2613
                319 Virginia Ave.
                San Francisco, CA 94110





              • Reuben Schwartz
                Blair, Thanks for your thoughts. I absolutely agree that longer does not necessarily equal better. Can someone please clarify exactly what the schedule is
                Message 7 of 8 , May 19, 2013
                  Blair,
                   
                  Thanks for your thoughts.  I absolutely agree that longer does not necessarily equal better.
                   
                  Can someone please clarify exactly what the schedule is that we are talking about?
                   
                  - Reuben

                  2013/5/18 Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...>
                   

                   

                  Hola familias, Hi folks,

                  <versión en español abajo>
                  <hemos aquí el inglés>

                  I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

                  I believe that evidence shows:

                  1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

                  2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

                  Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

                  If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

                  Thanks for reading!

                  Blair

                  _________

                  <y aquí el español>

                  Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

                  Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

                  1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

                  2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

                  Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

                  Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

                  ¡Gracias por leer!

                  Blair


                  ______________

                  Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
                  skype: dr.lapin
                  415-992-2613
                  319 Virginia Ave.
                  San Francisco, CA 94110


                • Dr. Lapin
                  Hi Reuben, The current middle-school schedule begins at 8:15 a.m. and continues to 3:45 p.m., except Thursday, when school lets out at 1:45. El horario diario
                  Message 8 of 8 , May 19, 2013
                    Hi Reuben,

                    The current middle-school schedule begins at 8:15 a.m. and continues to 3:45 p.m., except Thursday, when school lets out at 1:45.

                    El horario diario actual de la escuela intermedia comienza a las 8:15 and sigue hasta las 3:45, salvo el jueves, cuando sale a la 1:45.

                    Blair

                    ______________

                    <dr.lapin@...>
                    skype: dr.lapin

                    El may 19, 2013, a las 12:22 p.m., Reuben Schwartz escribió:

                     

                    Blair,
                     
                    Thanks for your thoughts.  I absolutely agree that longer does not necessarily equal better.
                     
                    Can someone please clarify exactly what the schedule is that we are talking about?
                     
                    - Reuben

                    2013/5/18 Dr. Lapin <dr.lapin@...>
                     
                     

                    Hola familias, Hi folks,

                    <versión en español abajo>
                    <hemos aquí el inglés>

                    I am concerned about the long and early middle-school schedule. Perhaps this has been discussed already; I'm unable to attend most of the community meetings.

                    I believe that evidence shows:

                    1) Teens (and tweens) have a natural circadian rhythm that would want them to sleep from around 11 p.m. - 9:00 a.m. If this is so, then it's crazy to make them wake up early in order to get to school at 8:15. Most adults don't even like to have to get to work that early. Why are we training our kids to hate school? My daughter loves school, but hates having to get up and out so early.

                    2) Children (and adults!) learn best from unstructured play. While having a longer school day may increase scores on standardized tests, it is likely reducing their natural curiosity, love of learning, and problem-solving skills.

                    Furthermore, we struggle daily just to come home from school, eat a decent dinner, do homework and go to bed in time to get a good night's sleep, and get up in the morning in time to have a good breakfast and arrive on time to school. Seven-and-a-half hours is almost as long a work day as adults have! This is inappropriate for children -- unless we are just training them for alienated labor, rather than educating them for creative, participatory citizenship.

                    If the two statements above are correct, we are doing a serious disservice to our children by making them start school so early and stay so late. If the community has not already had a serious discussion about the length of the school day, I would like to see this take place now. I have been given to understand that our schedule for next year, already set, is mandated by our receipt of certain significant funding. However, it's an open issue for the 2014-2015 school year and beyond.

                    Thanks for reading!

                    Blair

                    _________

                    <y aquí el español>

                    Me preocupa el horario largo y temprano del día escolar que tienen nuest@s estudiantes en la escuela intermedia. Quizá este tema ya la haya discutido nuestra comunidad, no sé. No estoy disponible para asistir a la mayoría de las reuniones comunitarias.

                    Es mi opinión que la evidencia muestra lo siguiente:

                    1) Los adolescentes como nuestr@s hij@s tienen ritmos circadianos naturales que les hacen querer dormir más o menos de las 11:00 p.m. a las 9:00 a.m. Entonces, es una locura forzarl@s despertarse temprano para llegar a la escuela a las 8:15. Tampoco a la mayoría de adultos les gusta tener que ir a trabajar a primera hora de la mañana. ¿Porqué vamos a educar a nuestr@s hij@s para odiar a la escuela. A mi hija le encanta la escuela, pero odia tener que levantarse e ir a la escuela a primera hora.

                    2) L@s niñ@s (y los adultos) aprenden mejor en el jugar libre. Puede ser que un día escolar más largo aumente las calificaciones en los exámenes estandarizados, pero a lo mejor disminuye su curiosidad natural, pasión para aprender, y capacidad de resolver problemas.

                    Además, para nosotr@s es una lucha cotidiana comer bien, hacer las tareas y dormir lo suficiente, y aun así llegar a horario por la mañana, ni hablar del juego libre. ¡Siete horas y media es un día de trabajo tan largo como el de los adultos! Es demasiado por l@s niñ@s -- a menos de que l@s entrenemos nada más para el trabajo enajenado, más que para educarl@s para la ciudadanía participatoria y creativa.

                    Si las dos declaraciones arriba mencionadas son correctas, las perjudicamos a nuestr@s hij@s, si las forzamos a empezar tan temprano y a continuar hasta tan tarde a trabajar. Si la comunidad todavía no ha discutido a fondo el período del día escolar, yo quisiera que lo hagamos ahorra. Tengo entendido que el horario para el próximo año, ya fijo, lo require el recibir ciertos fondos significativos. No obstante, queda todavía para determinar, para el año escolar 2014-2015 y más allá.

                    ¡Gracias por leer!

                    Blair


                    ______________

                    Blair Sandler, Ph.D., J.D.
                    skype: dr.lapin
                    415-992-2613
                    319 Virginia Ave.
                    San Francisco, CA 94110






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